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The Unreliability of Life

I've blogged before about Stephen Batchelor's book Living with the Devil. He has an gift for elegant prose, and when he's at his best, he can be profoundly moving:

[C]reated things are subject to breakdown, corruption, deception, and extinction. They are ultimately unreliable. No matter how well we care for this organism of flesh and nerves and blood, it will one day fail us. "The undependable lord of death," remarks Shantideva, "waits not for things to be done or undone. Whether sick or healthy, this fleeting life cannot be trusted." The stuff of which we are made, that allows the possibility of consciousness, love, and freedom, will also destroy us, wiping out that poignant identity of a sensitive creature with an unrepeatable history, who has become a question for itself.


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